Halim and Mina run a traditional caftan store in one of Morocco's oldest medinas. In order to keep up with demanding customers, they hire a talented young man as an apprentice. Slowly Mina realizes how much her husband is moved by his presence.
“Your wife has battled. Now is the time to let her go.”
Maryam Touzani’s second feature, The Blue Caftan, is the official submission for Morocco for International Feature. The film starts out with Halim and Mina running a caftan shop. The shop was started by Halim’s father, but the married couple has kept it running for decades. Creating caftans by hand is a dying industry as clients are shifting towards machine made Moroccan outfits. But despite that, Halim continues to create masterpieces for his clients, tediously working on them for hours.
To add to the pressure of running their store, Mina has also been struggling with her health for the past few years. Despite seeing numerous doctors and taking exam after exam, she’s incurable. And she’s done with going to the hospital. Since she doesn’t have the energy and the strength to go to work everyday, the couple decide to hire a new employee: Youssef.
Upon hiring him, Mina begins to notice that her husband is attracted to their new apprentice. Will this forever change their lives?
Like Halim’s beautiful caftans hanging around their shop, Maryam Touzani has herself created a work of art. Her own masterpiece. Words can’t begin to describe how effectively and beautifully the film captures love, even if it isn’t conventional. Every shot is so up close and personal. The tenderness of their hands touching as they work, the closeups of the sewing, the glances between the couples. So much can be said in the silence and in the eyes. And not enough can be said about the performances from all three leads. Saleh Bakri and Lubna Azabal are astonishingly perfect. The Blue Caftan is a love story. It’s about two people who got married at a young age and lived life together as a couple. Although Halim suppressed who he was as a person, he never ever failed as a husband. Despite having his flaws and indiscretions, his respect and true dedication towards his wife is something that is rarely seen on screen and in real life. He’s a man who could never ever be his true self but he’s also a man who never ever regretted his decisions in life. He’s a man who spent his entire life working on caftans. A man who dedicated his entire life to his bride. And while his greatest work achievement is a blue caftan, his greatest achievement in life will always be his one true love.